Zlatoust engraving craft is well known and various exhibits are kept in museums around the world. If you ever think about buying a Zlatoust product, you might be surprised by the high cost. But why is it so expensive when you can easily find something that may look similar for a little cost in markets like Aliexpress? The answer is quite simple at the first glance – uniqueness, handmade, quality of the material, and work. However, let us take a look in detail at what you are going to pay a big price for.
First, and most importantly, it is purely handmade using special techniques that were acquired centuries back, such as etching, painting, engraving, gilding, bluing, nickel plating, and high-quality material like steel damask style, natural and precious stones, gold and silver. Real masterpieces are born in the hands of skilled masters and to create just one piece be it a knife, a cup, a plate, or glass a group of specialists of different specializations works hard as a team. They are metallurgists, blacksmith artists, electric and gas welders, locksmiths-armorers, turners, metal and woodcarvers, grinders, polishers, joiners, designers, engravers, etchers, electroplating masters, etc. At home, it would be difficult to create a product similar to Zlatoust’s one as you will need a collection of different costly equipment and material to get that same engraving.
- The first step is to create a sketch of a future masterpiece. It can fully depend on the artist’s imagination or the customer’s preferences. The design can be of any style and subject, but traditionally, it features many floral elements, curvy curls, and twirls.
- The second step is to make a wooden model of a future item. It is created to be separable so that the artist could make and approve the variants of decorative elements positioning. Once the artist gets the wooden model in hand, it is being viewed, analyzed and necessary adjustments are taken.
- Thirdly, the approved model together with decorative elements is sent to the locksmith. Here, the main parts of the item go through the process of several stages. If it is a knife – the blade is sharpened. Blanks of various products are obtained during the stamping process.
Item elements are being locksmith processed by cutting complex ornaments, monograms, patches, hasps. Matching surfaces are fitted.
At this stage, the item parts go through the polishing and facing processes which let to obtain a mirror-smooth surface. This is one of the crucial steps that make the Zlatoust engraving technique to be the strongest. Both hand and mechanical polishing are used. When this step is over the polished item is sent back to the artist again.
- The artist works on the sketch again. Having the polished product in hand and the exact measurements of it, the artist works out in detail every inch to get the final art project. Under the skilled hands of an experienced master art pictures with multi-figured scenes or simple but filigree, ornaments are born.
- Then, the paper image is transferred to the steel. While in the traditional engraving the steel needle is used, in Zlatoust engraving the picture is applied with varnish by a brush first and the details are worked out by the needle.
- The next stage is the etching process. The upper layer is removed by the chemical treatment with acids and alkalis. During the process, the areas which are not protected by varnish become opaque. Following that, the varnish is removed to reveal its mirror-glossy surface and relief, so we get the mat piece with relief glossy.
Realizing how difficult it is to create such a masterpiece, you hardly want to save money or try to create it yourself. True connoisseurs of art are sure to be imbued with such painstaking work and will want to purchase original copies for their use.
On our site are presented original Zlotoust works, which you can buy today.